What follows below are three simple practical lessons illustrated from the life of Andrew. These lessons may not be the main points of each narrative cited below, but they come to mind when we observe the various texts describing the life of Andrew. As simple as they may be, I hope they encourage you today.
Be willing to serve in the background.
We see Andrew in the background in a couple of ways in his ministry. First, in half of the instances that his name is mentioned, Andrew is described as “the brother of Peter,” implying Peter was more well-known than him (Matthew 4:18; 10:2; Mark 1:16; Luke 6:14; John 1:40; 6:8). Andrew faithfully served in Peter’s shadow to some degree. Second, Andrew served close to those who were closer to Christ during His earthly ministry than he was. Often called the “inner three,” Peter, James, and John were with Christ at His Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8) and in Gethsemane the night before His death (Matthew 26:37). John MacArthur calls Andrew one of the “inner four” because his name is always included with these three in the first set of four names in all of the lists of the disciples (Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14; Acts 1:13). He also joined the three to see Peter’s mother-in-law healed (Mark 1:29) and hear Jesus teach about end times (Mark 13:3).
Whether serving in his brother’s shadow or being close to the three but not one of them, Andrew still served his Lord. We should likewise serve the Lord in whatever role the Lord gives us.
Be willing to serve others on a personal level.
Andrew was one of the first two disciples to follow Jesus (John 1:35–40) and personally connected people to Jesus in two instances noted in Scripture. First, he went and brought Peter to Jesus as well (John 1:41), and, second, he later brought some Greeks to Jesus (John 12:20–22), allowing them to hear from Him how to have eternal life (John 12:23–24).
All it takes for someone to meet Jesus is for us to speak to that person and bring him to Christ. We can introduce him to Christ through the Scriptures, and if they believe, they, too, will see His face one day (Revelation 22:4).
Be willing to serve in tough circumstances.
Andrew showed himself faithful in an interesting way in the feeding of the five thousand. This crowd listened to Jesus teach long enough to need food (John 6:1–6, 10). When Jesus pressed the disciples with the people’s need, Philip could only think of the money involved while Andrew searched for food and pointed out a boy’s meal of five loaves and two fish (John 6:7–9). While Andrew himself was perplexed at what to do with such a small number of items for so many people (John 6:9, “What are they for so many?”), he at least did something. It was these same loaves and fish that Jesus used to miraculously feed the crowd (John 6:11).
Like Andrew, we must be willing to serve in tough circumstances, even if we do not know a difficult situation will be resolved. Faithfully serve, and God is perfectly capable of resolving any situation in His own time and in His own way.